Samichlaus Classic Bier | Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

very good
2,043 Ratings
Samichlaus Classic BierSamichlaus Classic Bier

Brewed by:
Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
The once strongest beer in the world is back! Brewed only once a year on December 6. Samichlaus is aged for 10 months before bottling. This beer is perhaps the rarest in the world. Samichlaus may be aged for many years to come. Older vintages become more complex with a creamy warming finish. Serve with hardy robust dishes and desserts, particulary with chocolates, or as an after dinner drink by itself. Brewed under the exclusive licence of Feldschlösschen-Hürlimann-Holding, Switzerland.

Added by UncleJimbo on 02-25-2001

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Ratings: 2,043 |  Reviews: 1,095
Photo of Mora2000
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle.

2006 vintage. Pours orangish-yellow with a white head. Very clear. The aroma is a mix of honey and brown sugar. The flavor is lots of honey with some alcohol. Very sweet. Lots of fruit in there as well. Medium mouthfeel.

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Photo of bmwats
4.39/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 33 cl bottle into a pilsner.

A: Dark rich amber. Pours a 1 finger bubbly white head. Settles slowly leaving a thin layer of bubbly carbonation on the surface. Eventually dissipates almost completely. A little lacing quickly retreats into the body of the brew.

S: Dark roasted malt. Bittersweet chocolate. Pecan shells, licorice, clove, and butterscotch. A little peaty.

T: Thick syrupy sweet malt. A lite bitter licorice. Butterscotch and caramel. Molasses.

M: Thick, heavy body. Sweet and bitter coats the palette. Pungent peaty aftertaste. Dry finish from the heavy alcohol content. Strong alcohol flavor, too.

D: Great beer to sit and sip.

Really good atmosphere. Appearance is deep, dark, and pristine, but not overly exciting. Nose is outstanding. Great tones... great combination of elements. Flavor has outstanding balance of sweet and bitter. Overall, this is a great quaff.

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Photo of baldmasterflex
3.34/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12 Oz bottle bought at Total Wine in Delaware for $5.50. "Bottled in 2009" and "The World's Most Extraordinary Beverage" printed on the label.

The appearance is definitly unexpected, completely clear and suprisingly bright. When i think of a 14% ABV doppelbock i cant help but imagine a black/ brown sludge. It has a dark tan head that fades completely, but the liquid itself clings to the glass like a sugary schnapps.

The smell is definitly a wafting of dull bready sweetness. The taste does not stray from this either, very very sweet. The taste and mouthfeel definitly make me think of a sherry with its syrupy sweetness.

Mouthfeel of this beer is "unrelenting." It sticks and stays and doesnt go away. Very smooth and syrupy with the taste lingering. As i let the glass sit the alcohol on the nose becomes very apparent.

This is a very interesting beer. Very much a dessert beer just as one would consider a sherry or a port. It honestly feels like a real dessert in itself, like drinking a bottle of hershey's syrup.

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Photo of caddybuyer
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 release. This one has been aging in my cellar for a year. Looking forward to trying it. Poured at a cool cellar temperature into a tulip glass.

A-Firey red brick with a creamy white head that settles to a thin ring within a minute of the pour, as one would expect with this sort of alcohol punch. Very pretty coloration.

S-Strong musky malts and alcohol soaked dark fruits...this is going to be interesting....

T-Wow, what an amazing taste! Sweet brandy soaked candied cherries, toffee, a hint of chocolate followed by an unexpected finishing hop buzz, all underscored by warming alcohol, but it never overpowers the beer or seems too hot. My guess is that you could cellar this forever and it only improves with time. The sweetness of this beer would allow it to pair well with dessert. I can only imagine how good this would be with some pecan pie. I am pairing it with some chocolate.

M-Slightly syrupy and sticky, Medium heavy, but not overpowering. Carbonation is spot on.

D-Not one to pound back to back, surely, but a brew that deserves a place in my cellar. Well done.

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Photo of samie85
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Release. Reviewed from notes. Originally consumed 12/23.

A- Pours an interesting ruby color with a white head.

S-Smells of dark fruit and spicy yeast with some alcohol sweetness.

T-Wow, rich dark fruit with some alcohol and almost an orange sweetness to it.

M-Really thick and syrupy smooth with low carbonation. I've never had a beer that's had this sort of sticky, huge body before.

D-it has insane drinkability for a 14% beer. It's almost cordial-like in it's body and a great beer for cold, winter nights.

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Photo of Shumista
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 vintage. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- The color is dark brownish red with very little to no head.

S- Rum, booze, dark fruits, sweet candied sugar.

T- Dark fruit flavor predominates. The alcohol is present but pretty well hidden. Also the sweet candied sugar from the aroma, rum soaked fruitcake, and spice.

M- Thick, syrupy, mouth coating. Very warming.

D- I could very easily mistake this for an 8 or 9% beer. Definitely a beer that would help me get through a Christmas with my highly dysfunctional family.

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Photo of kegger22
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Samichlaus Bier is a clear, red/brown color with a moderate head that had little retention.

The aroma reminded my of North Coast Old Stock; very, very sweet and very alcoholic like barrel aged stuff.

The taste was similar to good, old ale too. Caramel malt, molasses and heavy alcohol. Gotta love it.

The mouth feel started medium but as it warmed, tended toward full bodied. The carbonation was barely evident and didn't hurt the beer any.

Drinkability can only be called fair because of a 14.0 ABV, but I do want another.

I know Samichlaus is a doppelbock, but it has many similarities to old ale, or better barleywines. I'm not complaining, that makes it one of the best doppels I've had.

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Photo of rapidsequence
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. 2008 vintage.

Appearance: Clear light brown with a very short lived head that leaves a thin rim of soft looking bubbles. Leggy lace runs back into the beer after each sip.

Smell: Strong sweet maltiness, rum soaked dark fruits. Lots of booze.

Taste: Very liquory. This is a big boozy, malt bomb. Very sweet, rum raisins, almost some cherry. Ethanol and slightly medicinal fusels or phenols on the finish. Its a big boozy mess, but its pretty delicious for what it is.

Mouthfeel: Syrup broken only by the sharp burn of alcohol. Its not flat, but once it settles, the mouthfeel is a bit like port-- very still, thick and sticky.

Drinkability: I'll get it again. A nice Christmas sipper. Pretty damn good really. Not an everyday beer.

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Photo of frankd97
3.38/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Due to the alcohol content, I found the sweetness in this beer to be overpowering. The color and feel of this beer were outstanding. I would say the 12oz bottle should be shared between 2-3 people. I tried to enjoy this as a pint and was overwhelmed.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in a goblet, the beer was a chesnut color with virtually no head. The aroma was fruity caramel and whiskey. The taste was of caramel and some kind of dark fruit. The whiskey taste was there, but muted. I thought this was a fairly mellow beer, not hot. The alcohol is there, though, so be careful with this one.

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Photo of wchesak
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Limited Edition 2009 bomber poured into .4L Brussels Balloon Goblet from Great Divide

A - dark ruby amber color, off white bit of head that leaves quickly and leaves a thin line on top of the beer but no lacing

S - malty caramel tinged with cherry notes

T - sweet caramel malt, dark fruits, rum soaked cherries, alcohol comes at very end and is not very hot

M - syrupy and full bodied, not that much carbonation but fitting for what the beer is

D - liked the bomber because its hard to split the regular size bottles, each year this beer continues to be one of my favorite winter warmers

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Photo of Pleepleus
3.91/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in 2005
Poured from bottle to goblet a clear chestnut color with a minimal head that dissipates immediately with no sheen or signs of lacing. Smelled like sweet mahogany, whiskey and honey. Made me think of the Mead my Viking ancestors drank. Heavy alcohol on the tongue. Had a sweet malty boozy flavor with honey and smoky molasses. If you enjoy a strong sipper this is a gem, but definately not a session beer. The 14% seems more like 25%. I am getting a buzz from remembering it and simply typing my notes.

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Photo of katan
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz into a tulip, 2008 vintage

A - Pours a very rich dark brown to amber color. Head formation is light, about 1mm, light white in color. Breaks down to a film slowly. Very carbonated in appearance, bubbling like crazy.

S - Incredibly malty, sweet. Caramel, toffee, some chocolate even comes through - almost a hint of cherry at times. Mega malt monster.

T - Starts off with the very strong malty note, caramel, and some crystal malt notes. Mid-stream gets even sweeter, with a note of raisin and chocolate. Finishes with a sweet clinging note that finally lets some of the massive alcohol through.

M - Extremely thick, full of sugars. Clings to the tongue like molasses. The strong appearance of carbonation is not very well detected in the mouthfeel.

D - Uhm, is drinkability even applicable here? This is a super winter warmer, which does its job with incredible precision. ABV is so well hidden that two of these will could be drank too quickly and put you into a new mindset.

Merry Christmas BA - enjoy this winter winner.

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Photo of n0rc41
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured this beer in a goblet. smell was very sweet! as the taste was sweet. stronger alcohol taste at the end.(14%abv) It shows a dark brown in the glass, the head was gone almost immediately with minimal lacing. The taste was good, sweet, alcohol, strong. like the review belowe me "full bodied, low carbonation, syrupy with a heavy sweet character" brown sugar taste almost. overall very good beer. the drink ability I would score more but being so strong and powerful taste its more of a slow sipping beer. overall good.

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Photo of porterwoobie
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle, poured into a tulip style glass.

A: light orangish amber color, very clear, absolutely no head or lacing.

S: fruity and sweet with some alcohol aroma. there is no doubt this is a high ABV beer by the aroma.

T: full flavored. has a fruity taste of darker fruits (plum and grapes) with a honey like sweetness. there is a significant alcohol warmth that comes from drinking (more like sipping) this brew.

MF: full bodied, low carbonation, syrupy with a heavy sweet character.

Drinkability: a real sipper. really sweet, so has a good place as an after meal dessert.

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Photo of zoso493
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This claims to be the most extraordinary beverage in the world, which is pretty ballsy. Let's see if it is... Poured from a 330 ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Pours a really nice ruby-brown with a slight one-finger that's all bubbles. Not much in the way of lacing either. Pretty straightforward presentation.

Smell: Really intense smell. A lot of sweet malts, with caramel and maybe molasses being some prevalent ones. Also some yeast present. A hint of funk, as well. Pretty powerful scent.

Taste: Wow, this is a pretty tasty brew. Drinks a lot like a quad or a Belgian strong dark ale. Lots of sweet molasses and caramel up front with some hints of brown sugar. Some dark fruits are even presence. Of course, there is also the pleasant warmth of alcohol but it's really not as aggressive as you'd expect in a 14% ABV beer.

Mouthfeel: Nice and medium-to-full-bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Surprisingly crisp for the ABV.

Drinkabililty: Honestly, it was hard not to give this higher than a 3.5 in drinkability, but the alcohol is strongly present in the smell and taste. Still, very smooth for what it is, but definitely a sipper.

Overall, this is a very rich and complex brew, as you would expect from a good doppelbock. This is probably one of the better tasting brews I've had in awhile and I would say that this brew is close to falling under the category of exceptional. Definitely a nice wintertime beer, as well. It's not the most extraordinary liquid that I've ever imbibed, but this is one is definitely worth picking up.

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3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a flute glass. A very simple label, well designed and suggestive of the omninous brew before you. The label has "malt liquor" written on it; I assume that's for legal purposes...

A: This might be the most interesting liquid I've ever seen. Medium dark brown with prominent tints of red & orange. 100% absolutely, positively, CLEAR. Thin medium brown colored head that quickly disappeared and was never to be seen again.

S: Light caramel malts and, for me at least, undetectable hops or yeast. Heavy fusel alcohol on the nose.

T: Plenty of favors going on here. Raisin, plum, prune, cherry, vinous (like a port wine), cognac, light licorice, syrup & a bit medicinal. Truly incredible and undeniably interesting. I won't pretend it's not a bit overwhleming. It is...and it lost a half point for that.

M: Quite unexpected. The full body was much bigger than what was expected. I also didn't expect such a presence of carbonation. The texture was slick and cloying but that is no surprise.

D: Anyone who says the Samichlaus is drinkable is either immortal or is a liar. It is a tasty treat of which one is plenty.

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Photo of DawnL
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

The appearance of the beer was rather average. It was a reddish amber color with lacing that dissipated pretty quickly. It had a nice amount of carbonation. It was pretty to look at.

The aroma was intense. It had a port-like character with a slight brandy warmth on the nose.

The flavor definitely rememinded me of port and old wines in general. It was high in alcohol and had that burn to it. It was also complex, rich, with herbal notes and macerated fruit tones. There was a little honey on the palate and mulled spices - it was just really beautifully made.

The mouthfeel was good - still very lively. Actually it had more carbonation than I thought it would.

The drinkability faultered here. I split a 11oz bottle. I think i would have had a hard time drinking all 11oz by myself.

This is not a beer that pairs easily with food. I might recommend some cheese or nuts - but definitely not a food-friendly option.

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Photo of BoitSansSoif
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-11.2 oz bottle, date on rear label is June 2014. Dark but clear copper w/thin but creamy off-white head...the cap lingers forever though.

S-Sherry, chocolate, dark and red fruits, fig, apple, prune, candy sugar, wood, sweet malt.

T/M-Sweet malt w/thick red apple, fig, vanilla, chocolate, and a slightly dry finish w/apparent alcohol. Sweet at first but short of cloying, and well-balanced at the end. Carbonation is light, body is velvety. Flavors midway complement sweetness nicely. Aftertaste is warm and boozy w/hints of fruit.

D-A delicious beer. I will save the rest for after dinner. This is a real sipper that will kick your ass and deprive you of its qualities if you rush it.

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Photo of gford217
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle, 1996 vintage by Hurlimann, courtesy of hoppymeal, poured into a snifter. I know this review may not belong here, but since I can't post it with the correct beer, I'm posting it here.

Pours a super murky dark brown with tea-colored hints around the edges when held up to light. There is a quick fizzy head that goes away immediately after the pour and leaves no lacing, just some boozy legs along the sides.

The aroma is super sweet with tons of complexity in the form of caramel malts, toffee and rum-soaked dark fruits. Lots of brown sugar and maybe even some chocolate thrown in.

The taste is excellent as well and mirrors the aroma with the caramel malt and molasses really dominating from start to finish. The dark fruits come out in the form of raisins and plums.

The mouthfeel is full-bodied and thick on the palate with minimal carbonation. It's definitely a dessert sipper that verges on a cordial-like feel.

This is a fantastic beer and one that has aged unbelievably well. There are only the faintest hints of oxidation and they have actually added to the complexity. Though the alcohol is evident, it's very drinkable for a 14%ABV beer. Wonderful stuff.

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Photo of mmmbeer
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33 cL, olive-green bottle, 2006 vintage (brewed 12/6/05); sampled December '08. The beer pours a chill-hazed, beautiful deep amber color, with slowly rising carbonation and a short-lived, fizzy head. Smells of caramel, fruits, rum bread, maraschino cherry and just a breath of alcohol. The flavor is very densely packed with fruits and heavy caramelization, chocolate-covered cherries, rum bread, floral/perfumy alcohol, hints of spices (cinnamon?), a touch of roast malt, perhaps some floral hops and a mild bitterness that slowly increases. There is also a boatload of residual sweetness, but it somehow manages to steer clear of becoming cloying - well done. The body is thick, smooth and a little dry, with an aftertaste that lingers forever. Pretty low on the drinkability meter, but the sippability score would be quite high. At first I thought this was too sweet, but it really needs the sweetness to balance the strong malt flavors and high alcohol. This is a big, meaty, delicious and layered lager that makes for the perfect nightcap and it helps to ward off the chill of New England winter nights.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2007 (from what I've heard, aging is the way to go on this one)

I have saved this beer for almost a year to enjoy today on Thanksgiving. My family is visiting including my father. This beer is brewed once a year on my father's birthday. (12/6) So I broke it out for the holiday and in honor of Dad. True to form, he took one sip and ran.... On the other hand, my sister loves it. (continues to sip at a glass now)

Pours with almost no head. Bright clear brownish amber color. Really a beautiful color.

Smells like a sherry. Slight sweetness and a bit of alcohol.

This beer is fantastic. Obviously sweet, but so much depth to the flavor. Deep malt flavors, fruity sweetness. Cherry, plum, nuts, ripe peach. Some warming from the alcohol. Surprising, bitterness towards the end. Just enough to cut the sweetness.

Very thick and syrup like. Very smooth and velvety.

I have to say that I love this. It is a sipper, but very drinkable. The alcohol is there, but the cellaring has clearly smoothed off the rough edges here. *I've now read some of the other reviews and find none of the HOT notes (let alone gasoline) that are made in other reviews. I credit the year in the cellar.

The goal is to pick up a 4 pack of this and let it sit for a couple off years.

Happy Birthday Dad!

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Photo of juhl31
3.66/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

-very clear and barely any carb or head

-smells like intense malt liquor and apple juice

-at first its like you have gasoline in your mouth and someone throws a match in there. then a bunch of sweetness, then a nice malty finish

-real rough at first and then settles down

-hard to drink, but good flavor

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.62/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a light head as I poured gently into a large brandy snifter. Clear copperish hue with tiny bubbles forming at the top.

Smelled strongly of plums, cherry, medium roasted malt, barley, nuts , oak and a strong booze odor. I will be putting the rest in the cellar to age for a few years even though this was delicious even fresh. At 14%, the flavors of this doppelbock definitely can afford to mature a bit. I was surprisingly reminded of the Old Stock Ale flavor from North Coast when I first sipped it.

Mouthfeel was natural maple syrup consistency, almost light, but so sweet you could tell that it was not a light drinker.
Drinkability I am sure can be improved upon with time, but this is a sipper, not meant to be put into a funnel or played with in a game of beer pong.
Great stuff, had been staring at this in the store for a while now and glad I finally grabbed a 4 pack.

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Photo of bob3701
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My bottle was a 2007 vintage.
Drank it in a large tulip-type glass. No head very little carbonation. Great rich red carmel color. Aroma very strong and nutty (walnuts?)
Beer clinged to the glass. Was closer to drinking a liquor than a beer. The taste was great and unique, hard for me to put into words but there was a nuttiness to it. You can tell by the taste that it is high in alcohol but not overpowering.
I enjoy the ledgend or history of this beer and wished I had had a nice fire to sit in front of as I sipped this beer.

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Samichlaus Classic Bier from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
3.99 out of 5 based on 2,043 ratings.
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